Super Secret System for Shopping After Christmas Sales

A few years ago I found out a little secret. This secret completely re-arranged my holiday shopping and budget plan. Not only that,  it made me charged and ready to spread this well-kept secret to my frugal friends and family.

Are you ready for it?


Super Secret System for Shopping After Christmas Sales - Kids Activities Blog

Family budgets are tight these days which is why I adore this system!  It also helps me stay in the planning-ahead mode which is not a natural state for me.

Super Secret System for Shopping After Christmas Sales

I know. You save up for Black Friday and think those are all the best deals. You wonder, Is it worth leaving the Thanksgiving dinner table and heading to the mall or getting up at 3 am and battling those angry and competitive shoppers?”

In my opinion?

Nope, eat a little more turkey and sleep a little longer!  However, let me tell you about my fun and frugal experiences with After Christmas Day sales.

The mall is still crowded, but the spirit of the shoppers is different. Few people are rushed, stressed and fighting over a special-priced  item. In fact, you will see the tables in the food court filled with smiling face of families enjoying some coffee before they go exchange a gift or two. But, somewhere in the midst of the gift-exchangers, are the sensible, frugal shoppers who are planning for the next holiday season. They are loading their arms with wrapping paper, ornaments, perfume sets and Christmas sweaters. I often hit my fave lotion and scent store and snag some bottles of lotion, fragrance spray and body wash for $5 a bottle—about 65% off the regular store price! With the leftover money, I can purchase some fantastic lip balm in the same scent. I love racking up on those After-Christmas Day Sales!

However, the frugal consumer has to take some precautions when viewing the tempting price-cuts. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid:

  • Examine packaging. Since items are popularly returned the day after Christmas, double check any packages or boxes you wish to purchase. If the box has been opened, inspect the contents. Are all items there? Instructions, cords etc.?
  • Don’t purchase unnecessary items. Even though it’s a great deal, if you or someone on your gift list, won’t use it, don’t buy it. You are wasting your time and money. You will regret it later, so don’t purchase it now and save your money for something you would use.
  • Do the math. Try to calculate just how much of a percentage deal you are actually getting. There will be other sales, and sometimes things are just too good to be true. If the sign says HUGE DEAL, but the price is only $5 cheaper, it’s not that great of a deal.
  • Purchase with someone solidly in mind.  If you can truly say, “This gift is perfect for _____, it is a great price and it is worth the trouble of storing for the next 11 months!” {and you have to say it enthusiastically}, you have found a great purchase.  You want to avoid having a bunch of randomly selected gifts that “might work”.

System for Shopping After Christmas Sales

 What to do when you get home with your purchases:

  • Set up a gift closet.  Ok, in my case it is more like a “gift shelf” at the very top of a closet, but gift closet sounds so much fancier.  This is the place where all your future gifts will live.  It is also a great place to set things that you might have been given that weren’t a great “fit”.
  • Label the gifts.  It is really obvious to you today that the wrench set you got for 75% off is for Uncle Fred, but 11 months from now it might not.  Label the gifts with name(s) and notes to make your next Christmas easier.  Also label any gifts that you might choose to “re-gift” with who it was from and where you opened it.  The secret to a fantastic re-gift is to make sure you don’t give it back or cause an awkward scene at the next holiday!
  • Don’t wrap the gifts.  I made this mistake one year thinking I was extremely efficient, but the following year I doubted myself and ended up opening one or two of them to make sure and then had to wrap them twice!
  • Store your Christmas ideas list  in your gift closet.  Everything is in one place and you can keep track of what you have purchased and what you still might need which will come in handy at other sales throughout the year.
  • Remember to keep your Christmas list short.  We are downsizing!  We don’t need to add stress to the family because the gift closet is out of control!
  • Relax.
  • Have some fun with it.

When everyone else is frantically shopping last minute for their Christmas gifts next year, you can sit back and drink some hot cocoa. You’re set! You already shopped last year for your fantastically priced gifts, home décor and other clearance-priced goodies.

You are living the fun and frugal life!



  1. Great advice! My kids love using their Christmas money to shop the after Christmas sales. It’s lots of fun teaching them how to stretch their dollars!

  2. Libby Seidel says:

    I buy gifts all year. I keep a Christmas spreadsheet with everyone we buy for names on it. Before I put the gift in our gift closet, I enter it on the spreadsheet so I don’t forget I bought it. The spreadsheet also has a place for gift ideas and sizes. I keep previous years spreadsheets on the computer so I can see what we got the person in past years.

  3. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who does this, though I didn’t do it the last 2 years and have regretted it. I think I’m back on track with Easter already taken care of and thoughts already in motion for next Christmas. Yeah!

  4. great tips. I always want to start buying for next years christmas [presents in the christmas sales, but i never have any money left lol

    Natasha @ Serenity You

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